Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: love, relationships, sisterhood, murder, adultery.
Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
One man, three wives, and a murder. Kate has been married to Conrad Steele for fourteen years, twelve of them unhappily. Jamie has been married to him for seven years, and had her daughter Gracie. Amanda married him seven months ago, and is expecting his baby. All of them share the same anniversary, December 30th, just seven years apart, and yet they didn’t know about each other until Conrad’s funeral. Determined to get to the bottom of the murder is Waylon, a good looking investigator who was trying to give up his career to work on his family farm. Unfortunately, his plans get interrupted as he tries to figure out who killed Conrad.
Kate, Jamie, and Amanda all flock to the cabin that Conrad honeymooned them in, each one trying to stake a claim on the place. Kate believes as the first wife, it’s hers. Jamie wants it to pass down to Gracie, Conrad’s eldest child. Amanda claims it as hers, as the last wife, believing that there must be divorce paperwork somewhere with Kate and Jamie’s names on them. As they each get used to each other existing, not just in the same living space but as actual wives conned by the same husband, they start to look into the mystery of Conrad’s death.
Kate does a lot of investigating, and finds some interesting information buried in the back of a drawer in the cabin. Documents stashed by the previous wife showed that the wife learned what kind of man Conrad was after they were married, and witness from the neighbors certainly pegged his character. Yet, there is something about Waylon that makes Kate hesitate to confide her investigative work to him.
Kate, Jamie, and Amanda eventually find themselves enjoying each other’s company and the surrounding little town of Bootleg, and each can easily find reason to stay. As they spend the summer together, they each find out what they really want out of their lives, despite awaiting their names to be cleared, and they learn that though their marriages were a sham, they were still family in a way.
This is the first I’ve read from Carolyn Brown, and I enjoyed reading about the conned women and their mysterious murdered ex. I thought the author pulled things together well, and though the pace was slow and redundant at times, there was great dialogue and character personality to shine through and keep moving the story along. It was easy to be the reader observing these women as each chapter clearly showed who’s point of view was in focus, and there was some great foreshadowing and symbolism when it came to footwear, which I found very clever. If you need a light summer read, I’d definitely check it out!
TL/DR: The Barefoot Summer by Carolyn Brown is a women’s lit novel about three women who must come together to sort out one man’s messy life.
Read it? Yes, it’s entertaining and a perfect summer read!
Recommend it? Yes!
Buy it? If you purchase this book, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, so I say go for it.
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads: